Sunday, August 26, 2007

New and Proposed United States Patent and Trademark Office Rule Changes Seminar to be Held September 6

Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch (BSKB), a leading international intellectual property law firm, will be hosting an interactive seminar on September 6 for in-house patent practitioners involved with biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and chemical patent applications.

This exclusive two-hour seminar, one morning and one evening session, will be held in the firm’s West Coast Office located in San Diego (CA). There is no charge to attend either session.

Prominent featured speaker will be Nicholas Godici, the former Commissioner of Patents at The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and executive advisor to BSKB. Godici will present an insider’s look into how these new rules will impact patent applications and the effect on the scope of claim protection with new and existing patent applications.

The seminar will focus on the USPTO final rules on continuation applications and claim examination, and the proposed new rules on Markush claims traditionally utilized in the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to obtain broad, generic coverage.

In addition to explaining the new rules, Godici will provide strategic advice for applicants to consider for possible actions prior to the November 1 implementation date, as well as counsel on strategies for filing and prosecuting patent applications following the implementation of the new rules.

To register for the 7:30 a.m. or the 5:30 p.m. seminar session, contact Will Gorman at (858) 792-8855 or e-mail Space is limited. Registration deadline is August 31. Helps Copyright Holders to Recoup Lost Revenues Due to Piracy

Nexicon Inc. has launched its new Anti-Piracy initiative: uses Nexicon's advance peer to peer file sharing intelligence to bill illegal down loaders for titles they hold on their computers. The system allows the pirates the chance to come clean for a marginal price to avoid prosecution in the future from the specific rights holders.

Nexicon's GetAmnesty(TM) Anti-Piracy Enforcement Program is the most comprehensive solution to digital piracy available today. The Program arms copyright owners with specific, accurate and extremely useful information about infringers and their content preferences, and equips copyright owners to convert infringers into paying customers. The GetAmnesty(TM) Program enables copyright owners to identify violators with precision, document specific copyright infringements perpetrated by the same infringer, and obtain compensation efficiently and cost effectively. GetAmnesty(TM) is the next generation of anti-piracy technology because it not only provides much more information for enforcement purposes, but also enables content owners to derive significant incremental revenue from their anti-piracy programs, recasting anti-piracy as a revenue enhancer, rather than as an expense.

Nexicon developed the GetAmnesty(TM) Program at the suggestion of a major copyright owner trade association. The program is the result of an evolution of enforcement techniques in the field of digital copyright protection. It combines unprecedented intelligence gathering and data manipulation tools using the most flexible and highly evolved search and data mining functionality available today. The entire Program provides an unrivalled means for identifying and documenting copyright violations. The Program offers significant and distinct advantages over existing anti-piracy methods. It identifies many more of an infringer's activity. It also has an extremely low rate of "false positives" -- avoiding potentially embarrassing situations in which a user is incorrectly identified as having violated copyright laws. The Program thereby reduces copyright owners' costs in targeting digital pirates, as fewer resources are wasted on mistakenly prosecuting legitimate users.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Next Generation Online Video Piracy Suite

Competitrack Inc. has introduced advanced video fingerprinting technology for policing online video piracy and copyright infringement. This solution can effectively help video sharing websites like YouTube and Metacafe avoid unlawfully displaying copyrighted materials.

A combination of rack-mounted hardware and client software invented by German developer Dr. Ulrich Hienzsch, this technology uses advanced digital pattern recognition technology and can locate content from movies, music videos, television programs, and even B-roll. Full motion and still video clips each have their own unique fingerprint of sound and light patterns that are detectable with advanced software algorithms.

Already used by the majority of performing rights organizations in the U.S., Competitrack’s system is superior to other fingerprinting technology because instead of analyzing just the audio or closed caption portion of a video track, this system identifies both sound and video luminescence patterns on a frame-by-frame basis. In addition, the system generates few ‘false positives’ and is fully automated, which greatly reduces resource allocations and staff involvement. Quality of the pirated content is not an issue. Grainy, low quality, and even resized and bitrate-converted formats have been properly detected in current client implementations. Competitrack’s solution can detect pirated content with clips as short as 5 seconds long, and no audio is required at all. Other video fingerprinting systems recently introduced into the market can only recognize content clips of 30 seconds or more, and typically require that the audio tracks remain unchanged from their original source.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Illegal Use of Copyrighted Articles Costs Knowledge Networks $300,000

The Software & Information Industry Association, the principal trade association for the software and content industry, today announced the first settlement in its Corporate Content Anti-Piracy Program (CCAP). SIIA reached a $300,000 agreement to settle copyright infringement claims against Knowledge Networks, Inc. Knowledge Networks agreed to work with SIIA and its member companies to initiate a proactive internal program to avoid future infringement. The program will include educating executives and professionals on copyright compliance and licensing and ensuring that proper licenses are obtained for use of copyrighted materials.

Knowledge Networks is a mid-sized market research company with offices in San Francisco, New York and several other cities. The firm's marketing group had been distributing "press packets" internally to certain employees on a regular basis. The packets sometimes included -- without authorization or license -- copyrighted articles owned by SIIA members such as the Associated Press, Reed Elsevier, and United Press International.

SIIA learned of the infringement though a confidential tip and a subsequent investigation verified its reliability. As a result of the settlement, the individual who reported the case to SIIA is receiving a reward of $6,000 under the SIIA reward program.

The Knowledge Networks settlement represents the latest victory in SIIA's aggressive efforts and industry leadership in fighting content and software piracy. Recently, SIIA reached a $205,000 settlement in an eBay software piracy case.

SIIA offers rewards ranging from $500 to $1 million to eligible individuals who report infringement by a corporation or other organization. Individuals interested in learning more about the reward program, or submitting a piracy report, can do so through SIIA's hotline at 800.388.7478 or SIIA's online Piracy Report Form at

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hip-Hop Superstar Daddy Yankee Sued For Copyright Infringement

Reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee has been sued for copyright infringement in the United States District Court for the Central District of California (CV07-5060 DDP (AGRx)). Victor M. Lopez, Jr., a Latin hip-hop songwriter and performer, alleges in the lawsuit that Daddy Yankee used a musical composition belonging to Lopez for use on "Salud Y Vida," a track on Daddy Yankee's breakthrough album "Barrio Fino." Daddy Yankee and the record companies that helped produce and distribute his album, including Universal Music, also included Lopez’s musical composition on a DVD, a music video, and other products.

According to Lopez's lawyers, Peter Afrasiabi and Chris Arledge of the law firm Turner Green Afrasiabi & Arledge LLP, the defendants' theft of Lopez's music is particularly shocking in light of the fact that there is no dispute as to Lopez’s authorship. Indeed, the album cover for "Barrio Fino" gives Lopez songwriting credit.

“Daddy Yankee’s representatives tried to negotiate a deal with Lopez to include the song on the “Barrio Fino” album, but when negotiations broke down, they simply used the composition without permission,” explained Afrasiabi.

According to Arledge, Lopez intends to recover copyright infringement damages from Daddy Yankee, all of the record companies involved in the project, and the retailers and others who have profited from Lopez’s allegedly stolen work.

PC Tools Warns Global Virus “Storms” Are on the Rise

PC Tools malware researchers warn the latest epidemic of the Storm Trojan which is being disguised as e-cards and infecting computers world–wide, is only the tip of the iceberg.

"The malware writers of this latest influx are suspected to be based in Russia or the Ukraine and their attacks are extremely sophisticated using advanced evasion techniques to get on and stay on victims' PCs," explains PC Tools Chief Threat Officer Kurt Baumgartner.

"What we are seeing with these latest attacks are typical social engineering emails telling recipients they have received an e-card from a friend, loved-one or colleague then enticing the user to click a link to view the card. Once the link is clicked a wave of malware is unleashed by taking the victim to a webpage that exploits their browser and infects the PC without any additional action required," explains Baumgartner.

"Consumers are naked against this new plague of zero-minute attacks. We are talking about new exploits, in large volumes, sometimes every 30 seconds. This next generation of malware requires automated computer systems to combat large volumes of malware as human manpower is simply not enough.

"With thousands of malware threats being released every day, or even every minute, how can products which are solely reliant on signature-based solutions detect rapidly changing exploits? They can’t, the only solution is behavioural-based protection – such as those being developed by PC Tools’ advanced research team," said Baumgartner.

“This is what has brought us into the era of Malware 2.0. Without an automated response present signature-based solutions cannot handle the job.”

Baumgartner explains, “Traditional anti-virus products are unable to decrypt, analyse and effectively distribute signatures for thousands of undetected and rapidly changing malware binaries in this extremely small window of time. Their scanners are ineffective against the newest variants at the moment of infection and by the time the signatures catch-up it’s too late.”

“The e-card threats not only collect email addresses to be used for sending SPAM but current variants are installing rootkits – which hide themselves and unknowingly change the function and performance of the victims’ computers.”

Baumgartner further explains, “Technically, the current variants are installing rootkits that run hidden processes and add the victim’s computer to a large peer-to-peer (P2P)1 network that not only will link it to a large spam producing botnet2, but will slow computer performance.

“Furthermore, these e-card threats are also designed to kill popular anti-virus products when it detects them starting, ensuring a persistent bot-enabled system once the malware is installed and the system rebooted. The threats also leave the system exposed to possible back-door and remote exploits, meaning all the data on the machine is being put at risk.”

Baumgartner cautions these new Malware 2.0 threats are infecting computers on a global scale.

PC Tools has posted a detailed technical analysis, generated by their automated threat analysis system Threat Expert, of the latest Storm variant. The report can be viewed online at

Thirteenth Annual Advanced Patent and Licensing Seminar

Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, a leading international intellectual property law firm, has announced plans for its 13th Annual Advanced Patent and Licensing Seminar to be held September 10 - 21 in the firm's East Coast Office located in Falls Church, Virginia.

This annual two week seminar will include presentations on the enforcement of U.S. patents, the avoidance of infringement of U.S. patents by competitors, validity and negotiation techniques directed toward patent licenses, and other settlement agreements, according to Leonard Svensson, Managing Partner of the firm’s West Coast office located in San Diego.

"The lectures and breakout sessions will focus on the legal significance to biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical, chemical, computer, electrical and mechanical technology industries,” Svensson said. “This valuable practical training cannot be obtained through legal texts, and the forum includes open discussion and active participation by the attendees."

"Other topics to be presented will include the doctrine of equivalents, prosecution history estoppel and the 'all elements rule', with relevant court decisions," Svensson further explained. “Workshops will also be held so attendees can analyze patent validity and infringement issues, participate in licensing and settlement negotiations and discuss litigation strategies.”

To register for this exclusive seminar contact Andrew D. Meikle or Paul C. Lewis by e-mailing or by calling BSKB at 1-703-205-8000 or 1-858-792-8855. A reasonable knowledge of patent law is required.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

TechnoLawyer eBook Makes Legal Publishing History

TechnoLawyer, the popular online network for lawyers and law office administrators, today launched BlawgWorld 2007 with TechnoLawyer Problem/Solution Guide, a free eBook with a proprietary design that will turn heads in the legal publishing world.

BlawgWorld 2007 features a remarkable collection of essays from the legal blogosphere and the 2007 TechnoLawyer Problem/Solution Guide offers a new way for law firms to find answers to management and technology questions.

BlawgWorld 2007 enables lawyers to find legal blogs of interest fast. More than 120,000 blogs launch every day, many of them in the legal sector. Lawyers clearly do not have the time to read every legal blog (blawg). But many blawgs contain excellent content pertaining to their practice of law.

The first edition of BlawgWorld, released in November 2005, was downloaded more than 45,000 times. The second edition is expected to have an even larger audience because of its wider distribution. "BlawgWorld 2006 was excellent so I'm looking forward to reading the 2007 edition," said Joshua Stein, a partner at Latham & Watkins.

Fifty percent larger than its predecessor, BlawgWorld 2007 contains thought-provoking essays from 77 of the most influential blawgs. Handpicked by each respective blogger, the essays provide a window into their blawgs, making it easy for lawyers to figure out which ones merit their personal ongoing attention.


Hollywood Superstars are Targeted by Identity Thieves

Authorities announced earlier this week that a major identity theft ring was busted in northeast Philadelphia. While the average consumer has become almost immune to these stories, the irony of this story caught everyone by surprise. The list of targeted victims included superstars like Paris Hilton, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez and Donovan McNabb. Thieves are getting smarter with their tactics which requires consumers to become armed with the education and information to defend them against this crime.

Michael Durnack, identity defense expert and president and CEO of Identity Defense, said, "This crime is one of the most violating crimes imaginable. The victim is stripped of their most personal information and left to clean up the mess." Durnack goes on to say, "It's a crime that the average consumer can defend themselves from with a few, simple steps."

The first step taken in the fight against identity theft is on Identity Defense has created a proprietary ID risk assessment that categorizes the threat level of an individual's risk to identity theft. When the assigned ID risk level has been determined, personalized recommendations for modifying habits and behaviors to reduce risk are offered with Identity Defense's Customized Personal Report (CPR). The process is simple and gives the consumer control of his personal information.

Durnack states, "This is comparable to fire prevention, not firefighting."

Perfect 10 Sues Microsoft for Copyright Infringement

Perfect 10, Inc., a publisher of tasteful model and supermodel images, has filed an action against Microsoft for copyright infringement, relating to Microsoft's operation of its MSN search engine, after attempts at settlement failed. Perfect 10 is currently in litigation against Google and Amazon for similar claims.

This case is viewed by Perfect 10 as a continuation of its overall campaign against Internet piracy. According to Perfect 10, major U.S. corporations like Microsoft and Google are linking to and displaying billions of dollars of copyrighted images without permission, to promote their own businesses.

"Microsoft is showing tens of thousands of extremely valuable celebrity images, along with Perfect 10 images, without authorization, which it obtains from hundreds if not thousands of pirate websites," says Norm Zada, a former Stanford professor and president of Perfect 10. "They are also showing extremely explicit sexual images to viewers of any age," says Zada. "Search engines could greatly reduce infringement if they would simply delist obvious infringers upon receiving notice, and stop copying and linking to copyrighted works without permission," says Zada, "but that would adversely affect their revenue."

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Google could be contributorily liable for copyright infringement if it was aware of infringing Perfect 10 images available using its search engine, could take simple measures to prevent further damage to Perfect 10's copyrighted works, and failed to take such steps.

According to Zada, MSN has an image search feature, which like that of Google, makes unauthorized thumbnails of thousands of Perfect 10 images and provides a “See full-size image” link which allows MSN users to see full-size Perfect 10 images for free. Perfect 10’s complaint also alleges that MSN is making available passwords to “Microsoft has complained about entities that distribute unauthorized Microsoft software product codes on the one hand, while Microsoft makes our confidential passwords available to millions of online users,” says Zada. “There is something very wrong about this.”

Zada further claims that Microsoft is continuing to link to, and take advertising from, websites that have stolen virtually every major film, sound recording, image, and even computer software, and which sell literally billions of dollars of pirated works for as little as $20 a month. “In the end, I firmly believe that those who knowingly profit from the theft of billions of dollars of other people’s property will lose,” says Zada.

Veoh Takes Legal Action to Protect Rights of Copyright Compliant Companies

In the face of unreasonable threats by Universal Music Group (UMG), Veoh has filed an action in Federal court to reinforce its rights as a copyright compliant company under the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Veoh is making use of widely available Internet technology to enable viewers and content holders to come together in a new market for the consumption of online video. In this market, Veoh is actively taking steps to create a copyright friendly environment.

Veoh's court action seeks a declaration that it has not infringed UMG's copyrights, and that because Veoh complies with the copyright laws, it is entitled to safe harbor under the DMCA from any claims brought by UMG. The action does not seek payment from UMG for damages.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Number One Movie in America Has Spammers Taking Advantage of The Simpsons

Spammers are once again taking advantage of a blockbuster film, The Simpsons Movie. Spam mails are being sent to e-mail users trying to coerce them to take a survey, giving over their e-mail address to spammers.

SPAMfighter filters these types of mails from the 3.6 million SPAMfighter users, making them aware that this is a scam, and filtering the e-mails away from their inbox so they never have to see it.

"It is common that spammers will use large events, such as film premiers, wide scale media stories, or holidays to coerce e-mail users into a scam. We are hoping to avoid having our users fall victim to these scams by filtering away these e-mails," comments co-owner and co-founder of SPAMfighter, Martin Thorborg.

The spam mail contains a picture of Homer Simpson in his underwear and asks the recipient if they plan on seeing the movie and to help fill out a survey by clicking on a link. Once the recipient does this, their e-mail address is recognized as being active, opening them up for many more spam mails.

In order to entice e-mail users to enter this survey, they offer a prize for taking and completing the survey. As with many offers made by spam, this offer is fake, and there is no chance of receiving the prize. The only reason for the mail is to get the e-mail addresses of active e-mail accounts so they can be slammed with spam mail later.

“Major spamming events such as The Simpsons Movie provide us with an opportunity to educate all computer users for the need to protect their data and privacy from spammers. SPAMfighter offers all computer users the opportunity to download SPAMfighter Standard for a free 30-day trial,” said Alix Aranza, Managing Director, SPAMfighter, North America.

Consumers wishing a free SPAMfighter PR download can go to:

Solid Oak Software Releases Free MySpace Blocker

Internet content management software publisher Solid Oak Software has released a free Social Networking Blocker. The new product is called CYBERsitter Social Networking Blocker and is designed for blocking access to the popular MySpace and FaceBook. It also blocks access to several hundred known "Web Proxies" that kids use to bypass filtering programs.

MySpace has increasingly become a web destination that may prove dangerous to children and teens. With the discovery last week of over 29,000 registered sex offenders with MySpace profiles, the danger level is reaching critical proportions. It begs the question that if there were 29,000 registered sex offenders with MySpace profiles, how many are there that did not use their real names when signing up? And, there may be 10 times that many that have never been arrested or convicted.

Solid Oak has been continuously in the Internet filtering business since 1995 under the same ownership. “We have been doing this longer than anyone else out there,” says Brian Milburn, president of Solid Oak Software. “We have the expertise, we know the web sites, and we know the dangers, and we are stepping up and giving away a tool we hope will help keep kids a little safer and help parents sleep a little better,” Milburn adds.

The product is designed for families who might not normally feel they need, want, or can afford other content management solutions such as CYBERsitter, SnoopStick, or other Internet filtering software products. It can also provide a second layer of defense even when other filtering software is installed.

CYBERsitter Social Networking Blocker is available now for Windows 95 through Windows Vista, and will be available for MAC computers on August 1, 2007. It is completely free for personal use.

Web site:

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Illinois Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Selling Thousands of Copyrighted Video Games and Movies

A Mount Vernon, Ill., man was sentenced in the Eastern District of Virginia to two years in prison for the unlawful sale of copyrighted videogames.

U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema also ordered Timothy W. Hall, 35, to pay a $1,200 fine and serve a term of three years of supervised release.

On May 8, 2007, Hall pleaded guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement for his unlawful distribution of hundreds of thousands of copyrighted works on his website. From at least March 2006 until September 2006, Hall had operated the website,, from his residence in Mount Vernon, Ill. On the site, Hall advertised the sale of hundreds of copyrighted video games on recordable compact disc for the Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and other video game platforms. He also offered DVDs containing copyrighted movies and television programs. Hall admitted that from approximately 2001 until the fall of 2006, he was paid more than $266,000 for the unlawful reproduction and distribution of the copyrighted works.

On May 10, 2006, an online undercover agent of the FBI placed an order on the defendant's website for copies of 70 different Xbox video game titles and 48 episodes of the television series "24" on DVD. On Aug. 7, 2006, the agent received a package containing his order at a location in the Eastern District of Virginia. The package contained 83 unlabeled Memorex DVDs which contained the copyrighted works that the agent had ordered.

The defendant completed thousands of transactions including more than 100 sales of pirated works to individuals located in the Eastern District of Virginia. The defendant received more than $3,000 in revenues from these particular sales.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington Field Office. The Entertainment Software Association, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and their member companies assisted and cooperated with the FBI's investigation in this case. This case was prosecuted by Senior Counsel Jay Prabhu of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Morton J. Posner of the Eastern District of Virginia.